Having achieved something close to mythic status in California pop culture, the state’s “5150″ hold for people in psychiatric crisis is being looked at by national gun-control advocates and some experts as a way to get help for mass shooters before they open fire.
Named for the section where it appears in California’s Welfare and Institutions Code, 5150 lets mental health professionals commit those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others to a care facility for as long as 72 hours.
If professionals believe a person requires further hospitalization, they can extend the stay for two weeks. Patients committed for that length of time are automatically entitled to a hearing that allows them to argue for their release.
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